Ford to add 800 jobs in Michigan to build transmissions

Ford to add 800 jobs in Michigan to build transmissions

Ford's Dearborn, Mich., headquarters.

DETROIT—Ford said Friday that would invest $350 million in its Livonia, Mich., plant and add 800 jobs there to expand its lineup of transmissions.

The automaker said the investment will support the production of a new transmission for front-wheel-drive vehicles.

Ford said it expects to begin adding jobs at the end of this year, with the majority coming next year and in 2019.

The announcement follows Ford's decision earlier this week to trim its salaried workforce globally by 1,400 positions.

“We remain committed to American manufacturing and investing in our people and facilities,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of The Americas, said in a statement. “We believe it is important to continue investing right here in our home market.”

The investment is in addition to $1.4 billion Ford said it would invest last year at the same plant to build an all-new 10-speed transmission for its F-series pickups. That investment created 500 new jobs.

The new transmission will share software, design elements and manufacturing processes with the existing 10-speed transmissions.

Jimmy Settles, a vice president of the United Auto Workers union who represents Ford employees, praised the decision, calling it evidence of the "benefits of collective bargaining."

“The addition of these 800 jobs will add job security for the plant’s hardworking men and women, and support for the surrounding community," Settles said.

The plant currently employs about 1,800 people. Ford builds six-speed and 10-speed transmissions used in a number of vehicles including the Mustang, F-150, Transit and Expedition at the plant.

Follow Detroit Free Press reporter Brent Snavely on Twitter @BrentSnavely.



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